Trust in Automation Among Volunteers Participating in a Virtual World Telehealth Mindfulness Meditation Training Program
Trust is important in group interactions; however, little is known about trust in wellness-related telehealth training. This study examined self-reported trust in U.S. military active duty and veterans (n = 45) who participated in an 8-week mindfulness course offered in the Virtual World (VW) of Second Life. Participants completed a VW Trust Questionnaire (VWT, measuring relational trust such as communication, confidentiality, and self-representation) and a Trust in Automation Questionnaire (TIA, measuring confidence in system and perceived system security, integrity, dependability, and reliability) post training. Participants reported moderately high levels of TIA and high relational trust (VWT). Higher class attendance was associated with being comfortable speaking in the VW and belief in confidentiality (relational trust). Higher attendance was also associated with higher TIA. These results demonstrate that individuals are more likely to participate in virtual world telehealth interventions, and complete more of their training, when their trust is high.
KeywordsTrust Automation Telehealth Virtual world
Special thanks to the service members and veterans who participated in this study, as well as to Baoxia Liu, Jim Hewson, Angela Jeter, Cory Overby, and Jessica Villarreal. This research was supported by the Army Study Program Management Office. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.
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